How to Prune Trees and Shrubs | NatureHills.com

  1. When Do I Prune My Roses?

    Try Climbing Roses and Clematis Together

    In this blog, you'll get expert how-to's on growing the biggest, prettiest roses possible. This really means taking the time to carefully prune your roses each year

    And we'll give you some inspiration, too. Take a look at the hottest design trend, partnering your climbing roses with companion plants like Clematis vines. Gorgeous! 

    Read on to learn more.

    A Quick Review of Tips to Overwinter Roses

    In the Northern cold winter states, roses go completely dormant and need winter protection.

    We have found the best way to overwinter Hybrid

    Read more »
  2. How to Care For Your Gorgeous Magnolia Tree

    Care for flowering Magnolia tree

    Magnolias are relatively pest free and easy to grow and care for. Read on for care tips from the Nature Hills Horticulture team.

    Select the Right Site for Your Magnolia

    Pick the right Magnolia variety that fits the space in your yard. Be sure to check the Plant Highlights on every product page for the hardiness zone to ensure it will grow where you live.

    Make sure the soil is well drained and that your new Magnolia will get more than half a day of sun for best flowering. 

    Ideal growing conditions? Easy!  A rich, moist, well drained soil with an even moisture supply is suggested, but know they are very adaptable. 

    How to Improve Your Soil Conditions

    Perhaps you don’t have ideal c

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  3. Simple Tricks to Make Blueberries Easy to Grow

    Grow healthy blueberries at home

    We asked our Horticulture Team for their best Tips and Tricks for growing healthy, delicious, gorgeous Blueberries in a permaculture garden. People across the country can successfully grow these wonderful bushes. 

    There are 5 main growth habits of Blueberries, including: Northern Highbush, Southern Highbush, Lowbush, Hybrid Half-high and Rabbiteyes. These varieties range widely in chill hours, cold hardiness, different fruiting seasons, size, and flavors.

    Selecting the right variety is key to successfully growing blueberries. Nature Hills offers many varieties, and one will work best for your area.

    Zones 3 and 4 can grow Half-Highs, including Northblue, Northcountry and Polaris.

    Zones 5 and 6 can reliably grow Northern Highbush (Vaccinium

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  4. Yes, You Can Grow Fruit Trees in a Small Yard

    Grow Apples on an espalier trellis for easier harvest

    In today’s health conscious and Instagram-ready world, the desire to grow fresh fruit and vegetables has never been greater. We’ve seen the beautiful photos of the carefully grown crops after harvest, and we want that same benefit for ourselves, our families, friends and neighbors.

    Using Size Control For More Manageable Fruit Trees

    Even if you select semi-dwarf and dwarf varieties, you still need to understand that pruning is one the most important aspects of growing a fruit tree.

    Commercial growers use aggressive pruning techniques to control the size of a fruit tree, which results in more trees planted per acre (and a quicker return on their investment!) Keeping the trees at lower heights also makes it safer for workers and

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  5. Get More Fruit in Small Yards With High Density Planting

    Watch as Ed Laivo, one of America's top fruit tree experts, tells us about a tried and true technique that is perfect for the backyard gardener.

    Called "High Density Planting", or "Backyard Orchard Culture", watch as Ed explains the concept and the benefits of planting 3 partner fruit trees together in 1 hole. Benefits include easier cross-pollination and extending the season of ripe fruit.

    Call us to talk about which partner fruit trees are right for your garden: 1-888-864-7663

    Learn how to keep your High Density Plantings pruned for size control

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  6. How To Prune Crape Myrtles Without Murdering Them

    How NOT to prune your Crape Myrtle

    Ouch! This picture shows a horrible "Crape Murder."

    Please, don't use heading or topping cuts to pollard Crape Myrtles, it's just won't give you that natural look you want. You'll also avoid creating those knobby knuckles, which sadly wreck the appearance of that beautiful Crape Myrtle bark.

    Instead, let's watch Ed Laivo, one of Nature Hills horticulturalists, as he gives valuable information on how to correctly prune this beautiful tree.

    The Right Way to Prune a Crape Myrtle

    The goal is to get air circulation and sunlight into the canopy of the tree. You also want to allow your Crape Myrtle to showcase the beautiful bark as part of its character.

    In the video, you'll learn when to prune Crape Myrtles, and get a step-by-step approach to determine your pruning plan. Hint, start

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  7. Are Elderberries Safe to Eat, Or Are They Poisonous?

    Are Elderberries Safe to Eat, Or Are They Poisonous?

    People are on the hunt for native plants that produce healthy berries. Today’s homeowner wants to take advantage of plants that provide edible – and ornamental – benefits.

    Elderberry is also commonly known as “Sambucus” and you can find extracts and a dried version in pill form at any health food store. Historically, cooked Elderberry Syrup has been used as chest remedies to treat colds and flu.

    Even though it’s touted for both immune support and to reduce the severity of colds, you may have heard that Elderberries are poisonous.

    Here’s why. The leaves, stems and roots of the plants as well as the seeds in the berries have chemicals which metabolize into cyanide. Eating the raw seeds can cause a build-up of cyanide in the body and make you ill.

    Many edible plants

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  8. Pruning 101 from the Nature Hills Horticultural Team

    The goal of pruning is to improve the overall health and usefulness of a plant:

    • Prune to correct broken or damaged branches.
    • Prune to remove diseased portions of a plant.
    • Prune to control the size and shape of a plant.
    • Prune fruit trees to keep it easier to harvest the delicious fruit.

    Pruning by the Pros

    Plant materials grown by a quality grower will have been pruned correctly from the start, so you shouldn’t need to worry about corrective pruning for a while. A good example is shrubs. Plant nursery staff work to encourage branching lower to the ground, so the plants don’t have voids and aren’t "leggy". For trees, the nurseries prune for nice straight single leaders and uniform, open branching.

    Tree Pruning Tips

    After you plant your trees, you should pay attention to your plants as they

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  9. Fall Cleanup to Prepare for Winter Garden Interest

    Before your fire up your weed eaters and trimmers and rampage through your yard cutting down and removing everything in sight this fall, stop! Take a step back. It’s time to reconsider your winter clean up protocol. 

    Let’s take a look and change your perspective to see your winter landscape in a new way. You don’t need to cut everything down. Do you have any perennials or other plants that may offer winter interest if you left them untrimmed until after winter?

    What Does Your Landscape Look Like in Winter?

    Evergreens, ornamental grasses and hydrangeas definitely offer winter interest. Perennials can also add interest to the winter landscape, so don’t be too quick to cut them down. Study shapes, colors and form.

    Not all dormant regions get dumped with snow. Some regions have lighter snowfalls that can highlight and sculpt the snow, cr

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  10. Bringing Citrus Trees Indoors

    Watch our "Fruit Whisperer", as Ed Laivo, one of America's top fruit tree experts, answers Jill Winger's question on how to best care for her new Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree during the winter.

    Planting, Managing Pests, Making the Move, Fertilizing & Watering

    Ed has some really helpful hints for the home gardener in cold climates, like Wyoming (and let's not forget all the other hardy souls living in places like New York, Colorado, Minnesota, and our friends in Illinois!). If you want to grow Citrus Trees, but must bring them inside for the long winter - here's a video overview of what you need to know.

    Dwarf Meyer Lemons are so much fun to grow, and they'll do well for you inside. Just follow along with Ed for the best practices.

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